Tag Archives: Movies

#GloucesterMA in Boston Globe & Cape Ann Beacon- Good Harbor Beach Salt Island for sale, again

July 2016 Salt Island Good Harbor Beach

Salt Island, Good Harbor Beach and Brier Neck are naturally connected. The five acre Salt Island is about 1000 feet from Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts. A sandbar links the island and beach at low tide. I’ve culled a few milestones in its history. Scroll down to 2017 to find the links for the Cape Ann Beacon and today’s Boston Globe.

SALT ISLAND TIMELINE BITS

1860

History of the Town of Gloucester: Cape Ann, John Jame Babson’s published history includes a shipwreck of the vessel, Industry, at Little Good Harbor Beach near Salt Island in 1796

19th century

Joseph Parsons’ family operated a lobster business from Salt Island

pre 1919

silent movies were filmed on location

1919 Fox Film Co Bride Number 13

Parts of the Fox Film Corporation movie, Bride Number 13, were shot on location at Good Harbor Beach and Salt Island. The 15 part serial silent film –“the most costly pictures ever made…would consume expenditures of at least one million dollars.” It was conceived and written by Edward Sedgwick, directed by Richard Stanton aka “Salt Island’s Mighty Emperor”, and starred Marguerite Clayton, Jack O’Brien, and Ed Rossman. The script was inspired by Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

Here are a few fun excerpts from 1919 correspondence published in the book, “My father, a silent films pioneer,” by George E. Mcavoy:

“Again the picturesque Gloucester shores have been sought by a motion picture corporation for scenery and the noted Fox Film Company of New York, with its prominent director, Richard Stanton, has arrived at Hotel Harbor View, East Gloucester, to start immediately on the work of filming “Bride Number 13” at Salt Island off Brier Neck.

“It was decided that Salt Island in Gloucester, Mass., would be the setting of the silent film thriller, “Bride Number 13.” This island was an island at high tide and part of the mainland at low tide. Fox film Co. was building a wooden castle on the island, which was about one hundred feet high and hosted the actions of this silent film…” 

“(This was five days before the real tornado blew the wooden castle out to sea.)”

Oct 24, 1919“Dear Mother: I left Mary and the babies in Gloucester. I am on my way through New Hampshire and Maine for a lumber camp location. I expect to be back in Gloucester Monday night…

the time for the blowing up of the castle on Salt Island and the rescue of the brides from the pirate band is rapidly approaching…

Billy Carr of Gloucester, Chief Gunner’s Mate on the Navy submarine R-1 that was assigned to the picture, was to play the hero who rescues one of the brides, slashes through the nest of cutthroats, leaps into the basket with her and off. It was now November 10th. A throng of 3,000 was at Good Harbor and all over Brier Neck to watch…On the fourth day Bill Carr was called away on duty and his place was taken by Tom Corbiey…”

“Mr. Sedgwick has achieved something heretofore unknown in moving picture production. He conceived the idea of the story, witnessed and helped direct the scenes, acted in them, had a hand in the grinding of the film, and in fact had a part in every process of the film production…”

“While all bid good-bye to Gloucester last night, there was a general expression of a desire to return and several of the company said that they intended to return here next summer for the vacation period if not in picture work.”

“The explosion was a heavy one and its shock was felt in all parts of the city. It shook the windows of houses on Mt. Vernon Street and vicinity, also at East Gloucester and as far as Rockport. It occurred at 4:20 o’clock and people who felt the shock readily attributed it to the blow-up of Salt Island.”

photo caption: Bride 13 star Marguerite Clayton and kids on vacation during filming of Bride 13. Background shows the stately castle film set on Salt Island

film set castle on salt island good harbor beach gloucester ma- Mary McAvoy with sons

1923 The Silent Command

Then and now: filmmakers love Gloucester.

Fox Film Corporation returned to film the patriotic silent era Navy spy film, THE SILENT COMMAND on Good Harbor Beach, again on the Briar/Brier neck side.

The Silent Commander filed on Good Harbor Beach Salt Island

1923 was a busy year for Gloucester, MA. In addition to the municipality managing the bustling tercentenary, Gloucester welcomed another major Fox movie production to shoot on location at Good Harbor Beach. The film was made in cooperation with the Navy. It was directed by J Gordon Edwards, and starred Edmund Lowe and Bela Lugosi in his first American film. It’s essentially a spy thriller with a honeypot formula: foreign power attempts to secure plans to the Panama Canal and blow it up. The villains are thwarted by the US Navy. The production required assistance from the city’s fire department and city electrician. The film crew stayed in Gloucester at the Harbor View Hotel and the Savoy. Local people were cast and spectators lined the beach to watch the thrilling production.

BEFORE CGI:

I love this excerpt from the Gloucester Daily Times describing the staged wreck and tremendous waves washing the crew (stuntmen and Gloucester locals) overboard:

“A crowd of several hundred thronged the (Good Harbor) beach for the picture taking and enjoyed the proceedings, which were interesting, and at times thrilling…The Good Harbor beach setting is a clever contrivance, and constructed to produce a natural rocking motion of a steamer in a heavy sea. The rocking is produced by four winches operated by a crew of 10 men…Storm scenes were filmed yesterday afternoon with local actors, Stuart Cooney, son of Marion J. Cooney, taking the part of the hero and making a thrilling climb into the rigging to the crow’s nest during the height of the storm. Fred Kolstee, a rigger, commanded the crew of the steamer. The crew were (locals) Alfred Marshall, Tony Amero, Tom Bess, Peter Rice, James Francis, James Whittle and William Byers. Rain was produced from lines of hose, and a most realistic effect was produced by two aeroplanes, the wind from the speeding propellors driving the water about, and rushing through the rattlings and rigging with all the vengeance of a real gale at sea. Three times the big tank of water was released and the thousands of gallons broke over the deck in a most thrilling manner. There was some concern among the movie men before the water was released that some of the men might get buffeted about and get hurt, and they were cautioned to hold on tight.

However, it was a mere trifle for Gloucestermen, veterans of many a gale on the banks.

It was best expressed by Alfred Marshall when he stepped toward the ladder to leave the craft after the picture taking was done. Alfred was quite vexed. “Blankety, blankety, blank___, is this the best you can do? Blank, I’ve bailed bigger seas than that out of a dory. And he sung it right out so all could hear, too.”

Stuart Cooney ensured that the movie was a success from a technical perspective and “purchased the outfit and (took) it over” after the filming finished. He was a Gloucester pioneer in the film industry that’s still going strong. Film Cape Ann facilitates bringing local productions here, like the award winning Manchester by the Sea.  The Wikipedia page doesn’t have any mention of Gloucester, but it helped me with an illustration for The Silent Command lobby poster.

1923 silent FOX movie The Silent Command filmed on location Good Harbor Beach Gloucester MA

See for yourself; here’s a link to the complete movie. A few of the Gloucester scenes (not all) 1:03:44, 1:08:54, 1:09:54 (some coast), 1:10:21,  1:10:52 (dory lowered from navy ship), 1:11:12 (beach island)

AFI for TCM brief synopsis: “This is one of those ‘Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean’ pictures. Full of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ patriotic to the nth degree with the navy floating all over the screen. A real hero, a vamp, and a flock of thrills.” (from Var review.) Foreign agents, determined to destroy the United States Navy’s Atlantic Fleet and the Panama Canal, after an unsuccessful attempt to obtain from Capt. Richard Decatur information regarding mine positions in the Canal Zone, hire adventuress Peg Williams to vamp Captain Decatur, thereby putting him at their mercy. Decatur, advised by the Chief of Naval Intelligence, plays along with the spies to gain their confidence. He leaves his wife and is dismissed from the Navy as a result of his association with Miss Williams. Finally, he goes to Panama, thwarts the saboteurs, saves the fleet and the canal, and gains honorable reinstatement and the gratitude of his country for his heroism.”

1940s

Guy Parsons used one of the old family fishing shacks as a summer place

1950s

By now the fishing shacks were no longer visible

1952

Parson family sold Salt Island

1959

James Kimball purchased Salt Island for $2000

1972

Yankee Magazine article about Bride Number 13 Lights! Camera! Disaster! by Joseph E. Garland

1979

Gloucester Daily Times article mentions that James Kimball “has no plans for the island, although in the past he has thought of building a summer home on the island. When I was young my family spent their summers on Brier Neck…So when the island became available I jumped at the chance.”

2000

One of  the designated “Special places in Gloucester”

2005

“Special places in Gloucester” appendix list for the MA Heritage Landscape Inventory Program, MA Dept of Conservation and Recreation Essex National Heritage

September 7, 2011

GMG abou the Filming of Bride 13 on Salt Island by Fred Bodin

“Where is this film? I’d love to know. All sources indicate that Bride 13 was either lost or destroyed, as happened with many silent films. The reference used for this post was the May 1972 Yankee Magazine article, Lights! Camera! Disaster!, authored by the late Joseph E. Garland of Gloucester.”

and September 9, 2011 GMG Filming of Bride 13 on Salt Island Fred Buck Cape Ann Museum adds photos from the location filming 

2013

Salt Island listed for sale $300,000 plus beach parking passes for the family

2017

Salt Island listed For Sale $750,000

September 2017 Cape Ann Beacon

Sept 1 Cape Ann Beacon “Salt Island is for Sale” by Jason Brisbois

20170902_215402

2017 BOSTON GLOBE

Today’s paper: Sept 16 Boston Globe “A Gem or a Rock: For $750,000 Salt Island Could Be Yours” by Billy Baker

“If somebody buys it and builds, it’s because these guys didn’t step up to the plate and protect it the way my father did when I was a little girl, ” said Maslow, who pointed out that she and her siblings are not rich people with big summer houses. “I can’t help it if someone buys it and paints it purple and puts pigs on it.” – Karen Maslow

“…this island has been available for public use informally for generations thanks to the goodwill of that family. That point should not be lost.” — Chris LaPointe, Essex County Greenbelt

Boston Globe Sept 16 2017 Salt Island for sale

Trulia listing for Salt Island exclaims “Showings available only at low tide!”

 

The Red Shed Film Fest in Rockport!

Coming up on Monday, the 16th! Local filmmakers will showcase their work in a micro-film fest, the Red Shed Film Fest (in honor of the Motif in honor of Motif No.1 Day in honor of the arts…).

Starting at 7pm , short films will screen in Rockport Music’s beautiful Shalin Liu Performance Center. A party on the 3rd floor will follow the screening, with a cash bar and light food from the legendary Willow Rest. By “party” I mean: party, Rockport-style, where we stay up past 8pm, so bear this in mind in terms of your expectations. This doesn’t mean it won’t be fun, maybe even raucous! By Rockport standards! Which is still great!

The Red Shed Film Fest is a small but mighty showcase for our burgeoning local film scene. If you like short films and can tolerate other people and want to support art, this event is for YOU!

Come out to the Red Shed Film Fest on May 16th. The RSFF kicks off the week leading up to Motif No.1 Day on Saturday, and is a great way to begin the week. Admission is suggested donation. Your donations support the free programming of the Motif No.1 Day festival, celebrating Rockport across the arts, featuring film, dance, music and poetry. For more info on the fest go to www.rockportexchange.org.

REREDSHED2016

Wake up by 9AM on Sunday to get the scoop on Matt Damon’s “Manchester By The Sea” movie filming

Aurelia Nelson

This just in from our friend Aurelia Nelson, host of “Curtain Up” Sundays at 9am on North Shore 104.9.

“This Sunday’s guest is Chris Palermo of Mass Movie Mavens. We will be talking about upcoming film projects happening on the North Shore, including the latest on “Manchester by the Sea” being produced by Matt Damon and now starring Casey Affleck.”

Worth getting up for — even if you stayed up late with John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band at the Larcom tomorrow night.  Don’t forget our local favorites, The Gary Backstrom Band is opening.  What better way to support them than to bop down the road to Beverly and revel in their opportunity to open for a multi-platinum recording star!

 

 

Calling all QUEEN fans: Don’t miss this world premiere right here in Gloucester

Tomorrow 9/20 is the world premiere of a limited theatre event: Hungarian Rhapsody Queen Live in Budapest and believe it or not, Cape Ann Community Cinema is one of the theatres!

But it gets better, because this premiere screening is followed by a LIVE SET by the all-female Queen tribute band, Gunpowder Gelatine!

CALL (978) 309-8448 to be sure you have a seat.

February Vacation! Stuff to do with the Kids!

Plenty for parents to plan to do on vacation this month

Parents and caregivers looking for activities for the children during school vacation week can choose from several offerings from local organizations.

Here’s a short list of the activities offered  for the weekend and into next week.

Movies–  Cape Ann Cinema, Gloucester Cinema

Cape Ann Families“Do Something Really Big!”,  Nature Crafts,  Dance Revolution, “Guitar Hero” Tournament

The Trustees of Reservations Winter birding, Snowflake Science, Winter Quest, Hermit’s Tales on the Trails, Cows in their Winter Home, Bluebird Nest Box Building

Manchester Public Library- Make a Bird Feeder  Audubon Ark Museum Passes

Check out Flapping like a Haddock for  more fun things to do!

fish-3

Things to do this weekend with kids (or without!)

mode3

Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times”

Gloucester Cinema-Movies this     weekend

Cape Ann Art Haven Art Show and Buoy Auction

Cape Ann Museum Last 2 days of free admission for residents!

“A Boy named Torrey and a Little Harmony”

Astronomy Night at Halibut Point State Park

“Oliver” – Rockport Middle School Jan. 29 – Feb.1

Snowflake Festival – Essex Library

Check back for more stuff to do, and of course you really should start Flapping like a Haddock!

This Week’s Main Feature – “Synecdoche, New York”

Movie Poster - Synecdoche, New York

Playing Jan. 27-Feb. 7

SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK [R] (2008 * USA * 124 minutes)
TUES., JAN. 27 @ 7:15PM; FRI., JAN. 30 @ 5:00PM & 7:15PM; SAT., JAN. 31 @ 7:15PM; SUN., FEB. 1 @ 1:30PM; WED., FEB. 4 @ 7:15PM; FRI., FEB. 6 @ 5:00PM; SAT., FEB. 7 @ 2:45PM
For theater director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman), life catering to suburban blue-hairs at the local regional theater in Schenectady, New York is looking bleak. His wife (Catherine Keener) has left him to pursue her painting in Berlin. His therapist (Hope Davis) is better at plugging her best-seller than she is at counseling him. A new relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel (Samantha Morton) has prematurely run aground. And a mysterious condition is systematically shutting down each of his autonomic functions, one by one. Worried about the transience of his life, he leaves his home behind. He gathers an ensemble cast into a warehouse in New York City, hoping to create a work of brutal honesty. Co-starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michelle Williams, Tom Noonan, Emily Watson and Dianne Wiest. Written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, screenwriter of “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind” and “Being John Malkovich.”

“To say that Charlie Kaufman’s ‘Synecdoche, New York’ is one of the best films of the year or even one closest to my heart is such a pathetic response to its soaring ambition that I might as well pack it in right now.” -Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

THE CAPE ANN COMMUNITY CINEMA (AT GLOUCESTER STAGE)
267 East Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
978/282-1988 (showtimes) * 978/309-8448 (office)
website ::: http://www.CapeAnnCinema.com
e-mail ::: RobertNewton@MassBayFilmProject.org

Cape Ann Community Cinema Schedule For 10/30-10/31

Cape Ann Community Cinema, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30
XXY
SHOWN AT 5:00PM – FREE SHOW!
For just about everybody, adolescence means having to confront a number of choices and life decisions, but rarely any as monumental as the one facing 15 year-old Alex (Ines Efron), who was born an intersex child. As Alex begins to explore her sexuality, her mother invites friends from Buenos Aires to come for a visit at their house on the gorgeous Uruguayan shore, along with their 16-year-old son Álvaro (Martin Piroyanski). Alex is immediately attracted to the young man, which adds yet another level of complexity to her personal search for identity, and forces both families to face their worst fears.
This free show is part of our Thursday FilmMovement series, which in November becomes “Free Third Thursdays.”
“Raw-edged and moving…thoroughly nuanced… a tough, engaging, extremely touching work of cinema.” -Richard James Havis, The Hollywood Reporter
TROUBLE THE WATER
SHOWN AT 7:15PM
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, “Trouble The Water” tells the story of an aspiring rap artist and her streetwise husband, trapped in New Orleans by deadly flood waters, who survive the storm and then seize a chance for a new beginning. It is a harrowing but ultimately redemptive tale of self-described street hustlers who become heroes that takes viewers inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen. From the producers of Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling For Columbine.”
“Essential, unique viewing: a stunning experience of the hurricane and its aftermath, rooted in immediate personal response and emotions that encapsulate the full national catastrophe.” -Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31
THE RAPE OF EUROPA
SHOWN AT 12:30PM
Nearly as insidious as the Hitler’s wholesale slaughter of Jews and others he thought inferior was his systematic pillaging of Europe’s art treasures and the attempted cultural annihilation of “sub-human” peoples. In the exhaustive documentary written and directed by Richard Berge, Nicole Newnham and Bonni Cohen, the trio goes far in chronicling this seldom explored prong of the Nazis’ assault, from Hitler’s formation of the party in the 1920’s right through to its rise to power in 1933 to its defeat at the end of World War II twelve years later. Art lovers will thrill to the heroic efforts of not only the staffs of the Louvre and the Hermitage, but the U.S. Army’s contingent of “Monuments Men,” commissioned to protect these treasures from a vindictive retreating German force. While the three do not fully make a case for the Reich’s hunger for art being a major impetus for its warmongering, they do depict the tragedy of this hidden war-within-a-war with the kind of passion that would even make the most cold-hearted collector of velvet Elvis paintings weep.
“There is a heart-rending feeling to this documentary, in part due to its sense of irretrievable loss.”
-Philip Marchand, The Toronto Star
STEALING AMERICA: VOTE BY VOTE
SHOWN AT 2:45PM
For more than thirty years, exit polls accurately predicted election results. Over the last ten years that reliability has disappeared. What’s going on? The last two presidential elections both came down to a relatively small number of votes, and in both elections the integrity of the voting process has been called into question. With the upcoming election looking to be similarly close, the time has come to ask the questions: What happened in 2000 and 2004? What, if anything, has changed since? And what can be done to ensure a fair and honest tabulation of votes in 2008? This film brings together behind-the-scenes perspectives from the U.S presidential election of 2004 – plus startling stories from key races in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2006. The film sheds light on a decade of vote counts that don’t match votes cast – uncounted ballots, vote switching, under-votes, an many other examples of election totals that warrant serious investigation. This film unveils patterns of anomalies at every level of the electoral process. Controversial partnerships perpetuate a secretive environment, as relevant facts and figures remain hidden from view. As a result, most Americans have no real sense of the threat to fair elections. As seemingly unrelated pieces of the puzzle come together, a chilling picture emerges: of widespread, artfully crafted “glitches” that, in the final tallies, have the capacity to alter election results.
“This tersely sobering documentary…mounts its case with hardheaded numerical logic.” -Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY?
SHOWN AT 5:00PM
From producer Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) and director Rob VanAlkemade comes a serious docu-comedy about the commercialization of Christmas. Bill Talen (aka Reverend Billy) was a lost idealist who hitchhiked to New York City only to find that Times Square was becoming a mall. Spurred on by the loss of his neighborhood and inspired by the sidewalk preachers around him, Bill bought a collar to match his white caterer’s jacket, bleached his hair and became the Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping. Through retail interventions, corporate exorcisms, and some good old-fashioned preaching, Reverend Billy reminds us that we have lost the true meaning of Christmas. “What Would Jesus Buy?” is a journey into the heart of America – from exorcising the demons at the Wal-Mart headquarters to taking over the center stage at the Mall of America and then ultimately heading to the Promised Land…Disneyland. Will we be led like Sheeple to the Christmas slaughter, or will we find a new way to give a gift this Christmas? “What Would Jesus Buy?” may just be the divine intervention we’ve all been searching for.
Part of our “Somewhere That’s Green” series of sustainability films.
SHOWN FOLLOWING THE SHORT:
THE STORY OF STUFF
From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. “The Story Of Stuff” is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. “The Story Of Stuff” exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.
FROZEN RIVER
SHOWN AT 7:15PM
This acclaimed drama is the story of Ray Eddy (Melissa Leo), an upstate New York trailer mom who is lured into the world of illegal immigrant smuggling when she meets a Mohawk girl who lives on a reservation that straddles the U.S.-Canadian border. Broke after her husband takes off with the down payment for their new doublewide, Ray reluctantly teams up with Lila, a smuggler, and the two begin making runs across the frozen St. Lawrence River carrying illegal Chinese and Pakistani immigrant in the trunk of Ray’s Dodge Spirit.
“This is a debut feature, though you’d never know it from the filmmaker’s commandingly confident style, or from the heartbreaking beauty – heartbreaking, then heartmending – of Melissa Leo’s performance.” -Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
CTHULHU
SHOWN AT 9:30PM
If the movies “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Wicker Man” spawned violently in the night, the result would be Cthulhu, first-time director Dan Gildark’s effective, low-budget end-of-the-world dark thriller. Far more effective than M. Night Shyamalan’s apoca-schtick, “The Happening,” Gildark’s tense and claustrophobic slow-burn little film mines old-school horror titan H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” to tell this tale of a somber and terrifying homecoming. When Russell (Jason Cottle), a Seattle history professor, returns to Riversmouth for the funeral of his mother, he soon realizes that something is not quite right there, and that a mysterious sea-worshipping cult is probably behind it.
Part of our Friday Night Frights series.
“As the creepy gives way to the criminal, and ultimately to the genuinely supernatural, Cthulhu maintains its grounding in the sort of real-world interests that holds one’s attention without shocking demonstrations like dismemberment or decapitation.” -Tim Cogshell, Boxoffice Magazine